Urban Outfitters opened the doors of Space 15 Twenty to me in July of 2013. I transformed the pop up store into a boardwalk, subdividing the 2000 square foot space into individual shops similar to ones you might find at Venice Beach, complete with a fortune teller, head shop, and souvenir store. Goods for each of the stores were curated from brands worldwide to complement Blood is the New Black merchandise.
Alongside the pop up, I also produced multiple events including an opening party with a hot dog eating contest, zine fair, and a lap dancing how-to.
Opening night sales of the Venice Beach themed summer pop-up were the best to date for Urban Outfitters' Space1520.
Life's A Beach Pop Up
At Urban Outfitter's Space 15 Twenty
Hot Dog Eating Contest
Live performance by the Blank Tapes
Closing Party and Zine Fair
Over 15 artists including Penelope Meatloaf, Dan Monick and Sara Lyons participated in the Zine Fair that also celebrated the closing of the pop up space. The Lovely Bad Things, Sadwich, and Moses Campbell also played sets over the course of the day.
Summer Fling Truck
"Mitra Khayyam, whose Los Angeles company Blood is the New Black sells artist-designed T-shirts both online and wholesale, was buying a taco outside an art gallery in April when she thought "What about selling T-shirts from a truck?" Despite her company's gross sales in 2009, she says she wasn't sure she wanted a brick-and-mortar presence, so "this is a way to test the waters to make sure we want to take a leap into permanency."
Within the month she found an old Aramark delivery truck on Craigslist for $12,000. She soon had two other companies signed on as partners, and by June 6 her Summer Fling truck was on the road around the city. It was even simpler than the pop-up stores she had tried in the past for a month or week or couple of days.
A truck basically needs an eye-catching design--hers is wrapped in wild pink with stripes and dubbed "the party zebra"--and, in most cases, a window either to display merchandise or to handle transactions. Just as with a Mister Softee truck, music is a draw, so an audio system is also useful.
Khayyam's truck carries ice cream sandwiches made by Coolhaus, a high-profile mobile vendor in Los Angeles and New York, because local laws prohibit trucks selling only merchandise. "It has a food truck vibe but mixes it up," she says. "If people are expecting food, they're not disappointed. If not, they might buy T-shirts." Or accessories for BlackBerrys and iPhones manufactured by Case-Mate, her second partner. The truck has a computer monitor on which customers can customize their I Make My Case cases on the Case-Mate website.
The truck parks outside schools, record stores and art galleries in hip areas such as Echo Park, Venice and downtown Los Angeles. "We try to go after the creatives, with like-minded customers who like having us outside their store."
T-shirts sell for $20 to $30 and ice cream for $3 to $5--"at the end of the day we make more with the tees but the margin is better on the ice cream." Her biggest expenses are the (undisclosed) wages for a part-time driver and salespeople and the cost of the truck itself.
Khayyam, who has a degree in design marketing and management from Parsons The New School for Design in New York, intended the truck to stay on the streets only through the summer because "I like the idea of doing something temporary, with a greater sense of urgency." She hopes to sell it after October, and if she doesn't recoup her investment, plans to write it off as a marketing expense.
"Everything I do is a brand extension," she said. "I'm not there just to sell tees; the point of the line is to teach people about the artists" who design them." - Entrepreneur Magazine
Blood is the New Black Market
Two things that don't get often used in the same sentence together: Blood is the New Blackand the word "cute". But the LA label, known for its curated line of tees featuring sometimes confrontational images from young, cutting-edge artists, just launched a holiday popup shop that is completely friggin' adorable. Yes, the bold and sometimes NSFW shirts are available at the shop, but so are pretty dresses from Curatorial by popomomo, art books, little gifties, retro soda (the soda is actually new and quite drinkable, it's just the bottles that look old-skool), jewelry from Alex and Chloe, and some of the most preciously badass little kid clothes you've ever seen. The popup itself is pretty wee, clocking in at a lean 175 square feet. And it has prices to match: 99.5% of the merchandise is $50 or less. - Racked LA
Wet Hot Summer Van Show
The ultimate tribute to summer, I produced a 70's custom van show at Urban Outfitter's Space 1520. The show brought out over 30 custom vans, more than a dozen choppers, and a few classic cars too. The event was topped off with a performance by stoner-rock sensation The Shrine.
Wet Hot Summer Van Show
Little Warrior Pop Up Boutique
"Amidst LAFW madness, we managed to find the time to stop by the Little Warrior boutique launch inside Filth Mart on Fairfax—and it was the best decision we've ever made. Thanks to the line's adorable children's wear and pint-sized fans, the party's cuteness factor was off the charts.
Besides the fact that Little Warrior is entirely made in LA and features incredibly soft fabric, what sets them apart from other kid's lines is that everything is unisex, making it a brilliant gift for baby showers. Plus, each timeless piece can be passed on from child to child, which is a major penny saver.
All pieces are priced between $20 to $82 and can be purchased at the new Little Warrior boutique at Filth Mart, as well as TenOverSix (8425 Melrose Ave) and Mohawk General Store (4011 W Sunset Blvd)." - Racked LA
Levis Commuter Workspace
Levi’s Commuter Workspace offered free bike tune-ups, on-site tailoring, coffee, and wi-fi. The Workspaces also hosted special events including performances by Nosaj Thing, Twin Shadow and Thundercat, workshops, artist collaborations, talks, group rides and friendly competitions. (Event Production for Imprint Projects)
SxSWi Jawbone Podcast
I orchestrated and brokered a media partnership with Theory of Everything, part of the Public Radio Exchange, for a podcast recorded in binaural audio during SXSWi in to showcase three-dimensional audio features of the Jawbone Jambox bluetooth speakers. Additionally, I secured talent for interviews for the podcast, guests included AOL Digital Prophet, Shingy, and Cir.ca's Matt Galligan. (Producer for Imprint Projects)